I've been texting Pete Day a bit about this - so I do hope it will make sense. If anyone reads it and am not sure quite what I am on about then do feel free to ignore and move on! Essentially the thought for this blog was prompted by a comment that Rob Rufus made in one of his more recent sermons - "The Struggle For The Authentic Part 3 - Qualifications For The Blessings - Faith or Works?" - about how things have been very tough for the Rufus family and for City Church International but recently;
"When I woke up this morning I felt that the air was clear again and the pollution of darkness and oppression had evaporated and lifted off us. I don't want to be weirdly spiritual but the very natural atmosphere has had the pollution blown off it. Then every traffic light driving here was green and God was saying; "It's a green light - it's a go-ahead! ... Sometimes in God things aren't a coincidence - there is a prophetic significance".
Just after listening to that portion of the sermon, I had to drive to a night shift and was thinking absently about what Rob said until I came to realise that every traffic light I was coming upto (and there are a lot in Birmingham) was RED. Every light! Rob said that some things aren't a coincidence - I couldn't help but think each and everyone of my red lights weren't a coincidence because they were changing so frequently just as I drove upto them - and then staying red for what seemed like an obscene amount of time! If that wasn't bad enough, my car proceeded to break down on my way home from a night shift and needed water in the radiator.
So what I found myself thinking was that if God was saying to Rob Rufus through his green lights - "It's a green light - it's a go-ahead!" - what was He saying to me through every light being red?! Initially I was quite down-cast and found myself unhelpfully drawing comparisons between myself and Rob and Hong Kong and feeling that all-too familiar sense once again of condemnation creeping over me and that all-too familar voice; "Rob is a great man of faith - you'll never be like him! What?! You reckon you can even stand in the same room as Rob!? You're pathetic" - and so on and so on. I think most will know what I am talking about.
But as I waited on God I actually began to find a quieter but more insistent voice speaking and it was speaking words of hope and words of comfort. And He was saying things like; "The light is red just before it turns green. The night is blackest just before the dawn" and the sense that I was receiving was not that the red lights were condemning lights telling me that I was useless and my life was never going to go anywhere - but rather that this was a time to wait on the Lord and renew my strength and mount up with wings as eagles because the lights were about to change.
So if anyone else feels like me that their life is in a "red zone" at the moment, I hope this will be something of a comfort to you. God is absolutely and utterly 100% sovereign and each portion of our lives are carefully planned out and approved and set by Him. Nothing happens without His say-so. Even a sparrow cannot fall from it's nest without our Father knowing about it - how much more will He care for and love those He has appointed, predestined, called, justified AND made righteous?! Those traffic lights will turn green soon ... and when they do we will speed off all the faster because of that time of waiting on God! It's never a waste!